black and yellow argiope

(Argiope aurantia)

Conservation Status
black and yellow argiope
Photo by Mark Gullickso
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Black and yellow argiope may be the largest web-building spider in the northern United States.

The adult female body is ¾ to 1 long.

The abdomen is egg-shaped and black. There is a vertical row of bold yellow spots on each side of the abdomen and two or three pairs of yellow spots in the middle.

The covering (carapace) of the front segment of the spider’s body (cephalothorax) is densely covered with short, silvery hairs. The sternum is black with a yellow vertical stripe.

The legs are ¾ to 2¾ long. The front legs are black with black femurs. The other legs are black with yellow femurs. Sometimes there are yellow bands on the legs. There are three claws on each foot.

The male is much smaller, ¼ to long.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female: ¾ to 1 long

Male: ¼ to long

 
     
 

Web

 
 

The web is constructed vertically in a sunny location with a nearby retreat. It is flat, circular, and up to 24 or more in diameter, with 30 to 50 lines (spokes) radiating from the center. It is decorated with a pair conspicuous, zigzag, vertical lines (stabilimenta), one above and one below the center. The stabilimenta are made of multiple threads of non-sticky silk.

The purpose of the stabilimenta is a matter of debate. Some think that because they are highly reflective of ultraviolet light their purpose is to attract insects. Others believe that their purpose is to prevent damage to the web by making it visible to low flying birds. A study in 1998 supports the latter position.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Gardens, fields, roadsides

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Large females seen late summer and fall

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active day and night. The female sits head down in the center of her web, or concealed nearby in a rolled leaf, waiting for prey to be caught in the web.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

After mating, the female produces usually 1 to 3, rarely 4, egg sacs and attaches them to her web. Each egg sac is round, papery, up to 1 in diameter, and contains 300 to 1,400 eggs. The eggs hatch in late summer or fall. The hatchlings overwinter in the egg sac, not leaving it until the spring of the following year.

Adults die in the first frost of the fall, having lived just over one year.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Large flying insects

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30, 82.
 
  1/26/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
 

Order

Araneae (spiders)  
 

Suborder

Araneomorphae (typical spiders)  
  Infraorder Entelegynae (eight-eyed spiders)  
 

Superfamily

Araneoidea (araneoid spiders)  
 

Family

Araneidae (orb weavers)  
 

Subfamily

Argiopinae  
 

Genus

Argiope (garden orbweavers)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

black and yellow garden spider

black and yellow argiope

corn spider

writing spider

yellow garden spider

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Carapace

On spiders, the hard, upper, shell-like covering of the cephalothorax.

 

Cephalothorax

The front part of a spider’s body, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.

 

Stabilimentum

A decoration of the web of certain orb spiders; thought to attract prey and conceal the spider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this arachnid.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Tess

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Jill Maher

 
 

Between building and Bush

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Bill Elert

 
 

Spotted hanging next to my garage door above my bushes.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
           
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Brock K.

 
 

Huge yellow/black spider has had a web during last 2 weeks in our Irus plant in the backyard. Looked it up on your site, thank you.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Sandra Kelly

 
 

my front garden in the hostas

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
           
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Lisa W

 
 

taking residence outside my garage

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Diane Richter

 
 

spotted the web and spider on my tomato plant

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
 

Charlene Sennewald

 
 

She was building her web in a tomato bush.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Bobbi Johnson

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Jennifer Torrini

 
 

in a planter amidst my Dusty Miller and Begonias. Look at that web!

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Gary Holthaus

 
 

beautiful spider

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Melissa

 
 

She’s beautiful!

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Rehnman

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Roger Williamson

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
 

jmpickone

 
 

My back yard in veggie garden.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

LCHB

 
 

Beautilful! I’ve never seen one before.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Kim Baartman

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Cristina LaPointe

 
 

Found between a phone pole and a plant in a ditch.

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
 

Brianna F.

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
 

Jim Ham

 
  Found on a sidewalk below some large security lights. Many webs around the lights. While I was taking this photo the warm air inside woke him up.   black and yellow argiope  
 

Mark Gullickson

 
 

Beautiful!

In a small grassland on our farm.

  black and yellow argiope  
 

Roy G.

 
 

In my front yard.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Anonymous

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Kylie W

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Sarah H.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

luckysharms913@gmail.com

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Theresa Cullett

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Mark

 
 

Garden Spider

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Jim H.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Rhonda

 
  This is the third one I’ve seen in less then a week. We have always had free range chickens. This is the first time in 9 years we don’t have them... I think we will be getting them again!!😉   black and yellow argiope  
 

Ang Marie

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Cathy R

 
 

In my garden

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Amber & Robert

 
 

OMG ITS HUGE!!!!

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Connie Peterson

 
 

"Charlotte" ???

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
           
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Birddog

 
 

(castlerockmaterials)

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Jordan M.

 
 

Found on the deck by our front door.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Kris M.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Maggie Pace

 
 

Enormous.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Lei

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Chris Reiter

 
 

Had a large web in the shrub.

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Shane Fox

 
    black and yellow argiope      
 

Tom Baker

 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
           
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    black and yellow argiope   black and yellow argiope  

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
  Black and Yellow Garden Spider
DianesDigitals
 
  Black and Yellow Garden Spider  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
  Black-and-Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Black-and-Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia)  
  Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Argiope)
Allen Chartier
 
  Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Argiope)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this arachnid.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

Dan W. Andree

 
  "Yellow Garden Spider" filmed by Dan W Andree
Published on Feb 22, 2017
 
   
 
About

A quick and up close look at a common, colorful spider known by several names such as Black and Yellow Garden spider, Golden Orbweaver, zig zag spider and several other names. About an inch in body length - legs not included. Add on the long legs and it can appear to be quite large overall. They typically build their webs in gardens, tall grassy areas etc. where they catch and seem to guard their food (insects). There is written text on this particular spider and what I have come to know about it at the beginning of the video so I will not go into any more detail here. Hope you enjoy it.

   
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Garden Spider (Argiope Aurantia) vs. Cicada Killer (Sphecius Speciosus) PLEASE READ INFO
IloveSPIDERZ
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 22, 2008

This is probably the best video I have concerning the Black and Yellow Argiope Spider. The largest garden spider of the northern United States vs. one of the largest wasps in the world. This cicada killer was considerabaly alot larger than the Black and Yellow Argiope Spider, and I have never seen anything like this!

Please Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Best to watch in High qaulity!!!

THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
-At 3:52, you can see the wasp's huge stinger
-From 2:55-end of video, blurriness is GONE!!
-From 3:57- 4:40, the spider wraps the wasp for the last time
-From 4:40-4:53, you can see the spider biting the wasp with her fangs (better if watched in high qaulity).

I will continue posting more wildlife videos. Please feel free to subscribe!

   
  Female Black and Yellow Argiope Orb Weaver Spider - (Argiope aurantia)
Thomas Shahan
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 22, 2009

She probably won't live much longer - these Argiopes supposedly live only a year and die during the winter - and it's already getting cold here.

For more spider photography and videos, head on over to www.ThomasShahan.com

   
  Argiope Aurantia Wrapping Egg Sack (5)
IloveSPIDERZ
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 8, 2007

This is about three hours after the argiope spider was persistently working on the egg sack, shown in the last video I posted. She is still working on the protective covering of that egg sack.

Please subscribe, and thanks for watching!

   
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this arachnid.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Jill Maher
9/5/2021

Location: Alexandria, Minnesota

Between building and Bush

black and yellow argiope

 
  Bill Elert
9/4/2021

Location: Eagan, MN

Spotted hanging next to my garage door above my bushes.

black and yellow argiope

 
  David Munson
8/25/2021

Location: Bethel University Frisbee golf course

 
  Robbie
8/17/2021

Location: Elk River Mn.

Female about 1-1/4" so cool looking, at the top of a bush with web attached to my deck railing.

 
  Lisa W
8/16/2021

Location: Chanhassen, MN

taking residence outside my garage

black and yellow argiope

 
  Sandra Kelly
8/13/2021

Location: Anoka County, City of Fridley

my front garden in the hostas

black and yellow argiope

 
  Diane Richter
8/11/2021

Location: Zumbrota, Goodhue Co. Mn.

spotted the web and spider on my tomato plant

black and yellow argiope

 
  Charlene
Sennewald

8/9/2021

Location: Pine River, MN

She was building her web in a tomato bush.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Paul & Debbie
8/9/2021

Location:  Lakeville, MN

She was making a web on tall prairie grasses.

 
  Brock K.
7/30/2021

Location: Eagan, MN

Huge yellow/black spider has had a web during last 2 weeks in our Irus plant in the backyard. Looked it up on your site, thank you.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Jennifer Torrini
7/30/2021

Location: Apple Valley, MN

in a planter amidst my Dusty Miller and Begonias. Look at that web!

black and yellow argiope

 
  Gary Holthaus
7/24/2021

Location: Richmond MN

beautiful spider

black and yellow argiope

 
  Melissa
9/10/2020

Location: Dodge County MN

She’s beautiful!

black and yellow argiope

 
  Jill Hedlund
9/1/2020

Location: Diamond Lake, MN

 

  Rehnman
8/28/2020

Location: Willmar, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Roger
Williamson

8/20/2020

Location: Minneapolis

black and yellow argiope

 
  jmpickone
8/16/2020

Location: St. Paul, Mn

My back yard in veggie garden.

black and yellow argiope

 
  LCHB
8/14/2020

Location: Ramsey

Beautilful! I’ve never seen one before.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Mrs.L
8/10/2020

Location: Steven's County, MN

I noticed these spiders her last year but just looking them up today.

  Kim Baartman
8/6/2020

Location: Tracy Minnesota (Lyon County)

black and yellow argiope

 
  Cristina LaPointe
8/5/2020

Location: Otsego, MN

Found between a phone pole and a plant in a ditch.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Kris and Sue Mestad
8/1/2020

Location: Northfield, MN

  Brianna F.
7/31/2020

Location: Bloomington, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Jim Ham
10/29/2019

Location: St. Paul Downtown Airport

Found on a sidewalk below some large security lights. Many webs around the lights. While I was taking this photo the warm air inside woke him up.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Alfredo Colon
August 2019

Location: Slinger, Wisconsin

black and yellow argiope

 
  Desirae Christensen
9/28/2019

Location: Apple Valley, MN

  Stephanie Stanley
9/25/2019

Location: Morrice, MI

  Mark Gullickson
9/22/2019

Location: Polk County / Fertile, MN

In a small grassland on our farm.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Roy G.
9/19/2019

Location: Cook County, IL

In my front yard.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Anonymous
9/14/2019

Location: Glyndon, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Anonymous
9/4/2019

Location: St Paul

  Kylie W
8/31/2019

Location: Alexandria, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Argiope
8/29/2019

Location: Dakota County, Mn

  luckysharms913
@gmail.com

8/28/2019

Location: Pierz, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Jenn
8/27/2019

Location: Columbia Heights, MN

we have 3 in our yard! They are amazing to watch!

  Californiamom78
@hotmail.com

8/27/2019

Location: Saint Paul MN- cathedral hill historic area

  Wayne Schaumburg
8/27/2019

Location: Garrison, MN

  Sarah H.
8/23/2019

Location: SE Yellow Medicine County, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/22/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

black and yellow argiope

 
  Tyler
8/22/2019

Location: Crookston, MN

daughter spotted it and screamed like a 10 year old girl (she is a 10 year old girl)

 
  Mark
8/22/2019

Location: Circle Pines, Mn

Garden Spider

black and yellow argiope

 
  Theresa Cullett
8/21/2019

Location: Co Rd 3, Crow Wing County, Brainerd, Minnesota

see large female 

black and yellow argiope

 
  Joan
August 2019

Location: Sauk Rapids, MN

  Jim H.
8/18/2019

Location: Glendorado, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Rhonda
8/3/2019

Location: West Concord, MN

This is the third one I’ve seen in less then a week. We have always had free range chickens. This is the first time in 9 years we don’t have them... I think we will be getting them again!!😉

black and yellow argiope

 
  Ang Marie
8/3/2019

Location: Melrose, WI

black and yellow argiope

 
  Cathy R
7/30/2019

Location: Columbus, MN

In my garden

black and yellow argiope

 
  Amber & Robert
9/11/2018

Location: Litchfield MN

OMG ITS HUGE!!!!

black and yellow argiope

 
  Connie Peterson
9/9/2018

Location: Storden, Cottonwood County

I found these two spiders in my doorway yesterday. I looked them up and the map shows that Cottonwood county is not marked as having them. Are they rare here?

black and yellow argiope

 
   
  John Valo
9/9/2018

Black and yellow argiope have been reported in two neighboring counties, so it is not surprising that they are found in Cottonwood County as well. Cottonwood County is now included on the distribution map.

 
  Birddog
9/5/2018

Location: Dakota County

(castlerockmaterials)

black and yellow argiope

 
  Jordan M.
8/28/2018

Location: Mantorville, MN

Found on the deck by our front door.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Kris M.
8/26/2018

Location: Burnsville, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
  Anne
8/26/2018

Location: River Falls, WI

Has a web in one of our shrubs.

  Maggie Pace
8/12/2018

Location: Lake Susan Hills, web spun off of a residential wooden deck, Chanhassen, MN

Enormous.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Lei
8/11/2018

Location: Ham Lake

black and yellow argiope

 
  M. Johnson
8/13/2018

Location: Garden in St Anthony

I was doing some deadheading of plants in my garden, I looked up and there it was twelve inches from my face. Beautiful and a little startling, I had never seen one before.

 
  Pat Wessman
8/11/2018

Location: Silverwood Park, New Brighton, MN

  Chris Reiter
8/10/2018

Location: Taylor Falls

Had a large web in the shrub.

black and yellow argiope

 
  Sarah Rademacher
8/1/2018

Location: Pioneer Trail and Settlement Drive (Settler’s Ridge), Eden Prairie, Mn

Found lying in wait in some day lilies

  Shane Fox
7/30/2018

Location: St. Paul, MN

black and yellow argiope

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

Burnsville, MN

Oronoco Prairie SNA

 

 

 

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